With 238 days left for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the tournament organisers held an event for to introduce its mascot. So the event's mascot, Kheleo (a leopard), came on stage amid cheers from the school children present at the event, and made sports minister Vijay Goel and AIFF (All India Football Federation) chief Praful Patel dance.
But the big question remains unanswered - how prepared is India to host their first FIFA event?
But this is not about the team - that is another story in itself, with the U17 coach Nicolai Adam relieved of his duties. This is about hosting an event which could pave the way for many more in the future. Praful Patel has been vocal about wanting to host the Under-20 World Cup and the Club World Cup as well, but if the Under-17 tournament sees snags, then these dreams will be punctured.
However, all signs point in the right direction. The Indian team may not create ripples at the tournament, but as a host nation, we're pulling out all stops for a smooth World Cup.
South Africa and Brazil have seen new stadiums, roads, transportation modes and other facilities crop up due to them hosting the senior World Cup. The biggest issue though, is that these are lying empty and unused now.
There's no doubt that for a country like India, the enforced renovations come as a boon, but for football to prosper, these facilities must be maintained in the long run.
"There's a huge difference in hosting a senior World Cup and the Under-17 World Cup. But we give a sustainability plan to the owners of the stadium - how they can use the facility, how they can maintain it and the commercial aspect to get money to keep it in the shape we leave it in," Ceppi added.